ELIDA – Lima Senior came into this week’s Vicki Mauk Holiday Classic, vying for its seventh consecutive, and overall title.
What is probably more impressive on the Spartans’ resume, is their average margin of victory in the previous six Vicki Mauk Holiday Classics, which is nearly 18 points per game.
In Friday’s championship game against Spencerville in the Vicki Mauk Holiday Classic, Lima Senior fought through a slow start, and then pulled away from the Bearcats for a 47-38 victory in girls basketball at the Elida Fieldhouse.
Lima Senior has now won the Vicki Mauk Holiday Classic seven consecutive years.
“I thought we were solid in the first half, especially defensively,” Lima Senior coach Vince Halliday said. “We missed a bunch of bunnies (inside shots) in the first half. Heck, we missed a bunch of bunnies in the second half, too.
“But what I preached at halftime, was getting that five-point lead to 10. At the four-minute mark (third quarter), we got it to 14. So, we did what we needed to do, in the beginning of the third quarter.”
Lima Senior (8-4) had three players score in double figures. Ajohlon Bullock and Nakiya Sigman each scored 15 points for the Spartans. Bullock, a 5-foot, 10-inch post player, also came away six rebounds. Sigman, a 5-2 guard, had two key 3-pointers in the first half. Cheyanne Bean, a 6-0 post player, had 10 points, 11 rebounds and two steals for Lima Senior.
Emma Leis led Spencerville (7-4) with 11 points, six rebounds and two steals. Teammate Nelaya Burden, a 6-0 wing player, had 10 points, nine rebounds and four assists.
Bullock was active in the opening quarter. She scored six points in the first eight minutes of action.
However, Spencerville pulled out to a 14-11 lead by the end of the first quarter.
Lilyan Goecke (nine points) led the way for the Bearcats in the first stanza, with five points.
Sigman found her range. A deep three by the junior guard from the right wing, tied the game at 14, two minutes into the second stanza.
That trey by Sigman jump-started her team, as the Spartans pulled out to a 24-19 lead by the halftime break.
Spencerville was just 2 of 13 shooting from the field in the second quarter.
Bullock scored 12 first-half points, all coming inside the paint.
Nelaya Burden led the Bearcats in the first half, with seven points, including a 3-pointer.
Coming out of the locker room, the Spartans pushed the tempo.
Midway through the third quarter, the Spartans had extended their lead to 35-21, on a steal and layup by Ryann Miller (five points, three assists).
Spencerville continued to struggle, as they were just 1 of 6 from the floor in that four-minute stretch.
Lima Senior led 41-26 by the end of the third quarter.
“Good teams will have runs; and we talked about that in the locker room,” Spencerville coach Greg Ekis said. “They had a run at the end of the first half, and midway through the third quarter. … Good teams do that. We have to be able to counter some of those runs, make some of those shots, so they don’t extend those runs.”
For the game, Lima Senior shot 38 percent from the floor. Spencerville shot just 28 percent from the field.
Spencerville turned the ball over 15 times, while Lima Senior turned it over 13 times on the night.
Spencerville outscored Lima Senior 12-6 in the fourth quarter.
“The fourth quarter was a little shaky, but we made enough plays down the stretch to secure the win,” Halliday said. “We’re excited. We finished the calendar year, really, really well. This is our sixth straight win (this season). This is our seventh straight (Vicki Mauk) tournament win. Now, we’ll take a couple days off and enjoy the weekend. I like the way we are trending. We’ll keep working at it.”
ELIDA 54, LIMA CENTRAL CATHOLIC 40
Elida found its shooting range in Friday’s consolation game of the Vicki Mauk Holiday Classic, and defensively, was able to fight off Lima Central Catholic down the stretch for a 14-point victory.
After a back-and-forth first quarter, Elida slipped out with a 14-10 lead.
Amira Freeman (two 3-pointers) led the way for the Bulldogs in the first quarter, with six points. Teammate Ephifany Johnson added five points for Elida.
LCC battled back after the first stop.
The T-Birds knotted the score at 14, early into the second stanza.
However, the Bulldogs then found their range and outscored the T-Birds 18-12 to close out the stanza, and headed into the halftime break with a 32-26 advantage.
Johnson (10 points, two 3-pointers), Rachel Mitchell (nine points) and Amira Freeman (nine points, three 3-pointers) led the way for the Bulldogs in the first
half. The Bulldogs connected seven times behind the 3-point line in the first 16 minutes of action.
Olivia Stolly kept LCC in the hunt, as she scored nine first-half points.
LCC came out strong to start the second half.
Rosie Williams scored down low, and then moments later, Stolly connected behind the 3-point line to cut the deficit to 1, 32-31.
LCC reclaimed the lead, 38-37 at the 3:20 mark of the third quarter, on a strong inside move by Williams.
The Bulldogs pulled back out to a 41-40 lead by the end of the third period.
For the game, Amira Freeman led Elida and all scorers, with 19 points, including three 3-pointers. Mitchell scored 13 points, including two treys. Johnson ended the night with 11 points, including two 3-pointers. Addisyn Freeman added eight points for the Bulldogs.
On the night, Elida (4-6) connected eight times behind the arc.
Williams led LCC (5-6) in scoring with 16. Stolly ended the game with 14 points, including two treys.
The Vicki Mauk All-Tournament Team included: Lima Senior’s Ajohlon Bullock and Nakiya Sigman, Spencerville’s Nelaya Burden, Elida’s Amira Freeman, and Lima Central Catholic’s Olivia Stolly.